What is being wise?


In his book Maturity, Osho says the following about “Wisdom”:

“Being old is being wise. If you had been a fool when you were young and now you have become old, you are just an old fool, that’s all! A mature person never commits the same mistake again. If a person is only old he or she keeps on repeating the same mistakes again and again. He or she lives in a circle; never learns anything. People who constantly take into account other people’s ideas are immature. They depend on what others think. They cannot do anything in a genuine way, they cannot say honestly what they want to say; they say what others want to hear.”

Epiktetos, on the other hand, describes the behaviour of a wise person in his book “Thoughts” as follows:
“If deep and important issues are being discussed in the presence of the ignorant, keep silent. For that there is great danger to return back what you have not digested yet. If one day someone comes up and claims that you know nothing and if your temper does not rise, then you should realize that you have started to become a philosopher. As sheep do not go to the shepherds and show how much they have eaten, but they give milk and wool after they well digest their food. So, you do not discourse full of aphorisms to the ignorant, if you have digested well, show it with your behaviour.

As the hour is part of the day, I am a part of such a whole. Hours are temporary so am I. My job is to do what I can and not take into consideration anything further. For a cruise, I select the ship, the boat and the season. This is my job. If a storm breaks on the way, I never care. This is not my job. I am capable of choosing the captain, the captain is capable of tackling the storm. Wisdom is knowing what is ours and what is not and behave accordingly.”

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